Top 5 Films Every Astronomy Student Should Watch

Happy Monday, people! This is the seventh in a series of weekly articles for students. The series features articles recommending the best films based on a particular academic subject. It is incredible how much more fun academics get when blended with entertainment and the following list will prove it. In the previous edition, we put our thinking caps on, with a list of films every physics student must watch.

That list didn't contain even a single space movie, but we promised we'd have a list of space films for you this week. Anybody studying astronomy? No? Well, no worries, these films are out of this world anyway. Anybody and everybody will enjoy these trips through outer space. Happy journey!

1. Interstellar (2014)
Directed by Christopher Nolan, this is easily one of the greatest and most realistic sci-fi films of all time. Featuring a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of a new planet, this film is the complete package. Famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was consulted to 'keep it real'.
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2. 2001: Space Odyssey (1968)
Nolan himself said his film Interstellar was inspired by this one, which is made by one of the greatest directors ever, Stanley Kubrick. A ground-breaking film, this masterpiece is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. You'll find it hard to believe this was made way back in the late 60s. Also, Kubrick took a little help from the multi-talented astronomer, Carl Sagan.

3. Gravity (2013)
Written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the film stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts who are stranded in space after the mid-orbit destruction of their space shuttle, and their subsequent attempt to return to Earth. Eerie and tense, the film will teach you the meaning of true loneliness.

4. The Martian (2015)
Another person stuck in space. Man, what is with these 'trained' astronauts? An ensemble cast is led by Matt Damon, whose titular character is stuck on planet Mars. He uses his skills and intelligence to survive for a couple of years, hoping he gets rescued.

5. Apollo 13 (1995)
This docudrama also has an ensemble cast – Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris. It dramatizes the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission, where an on-board explosion takes place.

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